October 31, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

Little Monsters making a scary house with
Mommy and Grandma D

Sunday was pumpkin carving day in the D household, and what fun we had!  The girls had their usual attention spans of 10 minutes, so long enough to tell daddy that they wanted girl or boy faces and what types of eyes, etc. 

Cabbage Patch baby Jaida watching Daddy carve pumpkins
KD and Easy Mac's pumpkins

Then they wanted to mash the ‘guts’ and ‘slime’ with me.  I was picking the seeds out for baking.  They were spilling the seeds all over for messing.

Easy Mac had a semi-mean girl face.  Her attention span was nearly gone by the time instructions came.  KD had an evil boy face.  Mommy had Jack Skellington.  Shaun said “I figured as much” when I told him that’s what I wanted him to carve.  Daddy’s pumpkin was slightly rotten and Shaun elaborated on it by making a googly-eyed thing.  Of course it was adorable.

We put tea lights in them last night and of course the girls loved them, for about 2 seconds.  That was their pumpkin-loving attention span.

Jack Skellington on the left - PERFECT!

All our hard work paid off.  It really is fun to carve pumpkins, and Shaun and I really love pumpkin seeds.  We had a Pumpkin Seed Throwdown.

I think there are probably a zillion ways to cook pumpkin seeds.  You’re welcome to comment on here and tell me your secrets, but here’s how Shaun and I threw it down:


I rinsed my seeds really well and let them sit in the colander for an hour or two (not in water and not in salt).  I put the seeds on tin foil and sprinkled them with salt (kosher); then they baked for what seemed like hours at 275°, till they were slightly golden and crisp.  Not crackly crisp.  They are tasty, but not perfect, as Shaun was wont to point out.

Lots 'o' seeds: I made applesauce too while I was baking


Shaun soaked his seeds in salt (really salty) water for a couple of hours.  When I was finished baking mine, he cranked up the oven to a whopping 300° and baked his for what seemed like hours till they were golden and snap-crackle-popping.  Prior to baking, he sprinkled them liberally with regular iodized salt and ancho chile powder for zing.

Ancho chili powder not on yet.

~I think my seeds were a little lackluster.  Maybe not as salty, maybe not as crispy.  I think I might toss them in a teensy bit of oil tonite, and some spices, and toast them a little more.  We’ll see!

A few other Halloween things I just thought I'd show you:

We've got the 'Trick-or-Treat' down pat now
Haunted cemetery at Thrifty Nana's neighbor's: let's
just say they gave parents apple cider with rum...
...and I got the best picture of the night. :)


Posted by Lori~

Now it was time for the adults and of course a party was necessary.  Ethne and I are always looking for reasons to party!  We LOVE a good party!

There were great costumes!  I opted to dress like Tippie Hedren from the Alfred Hitchcock movie THE BIRDS!  Super scary and super easy to create (more on this later this week).  Steve was Dexter--a favorite show we follow!  And there were tons of other great ideas! 

A SHOUT-OUT to Justine and Andrew for hosting a GREAT PARTY!  THANK YOU!  And to Jen for supplying lots of the ideas and party decor!  She is crazy about Halloween!  Here is a recap of the spooky costumes from the weekend! FABULOUS!

I apologize that the photos are a little fuzzy--there was a fog machine!  And of course LOTS of other awesome costumes!  HOPEFULLY THIS WILL INSPIRE YOU TO GET OUT AND SCARE TONIGHT!

PS:  Murray and Steve went home soon after the photo was taken and I stayed out!  Total BLAST!  This was an adult party!

October 30, 2011


Posted by Lori~

Today is October 31 and Ethne and I both thought it was fitting to go HALLOWEEN CRAZY on this day!  We have had lots up our sleeves and needed to re-cap on all the spookiness!

First up, Mur-Man attended a Halloween party hosted by his good friend (he coincidentally shares the same b-day with) SUPER A!  We wanted to bring a game to play at the party and I whipped up a beanbag toss.  SUPER EASY!


MUR-MAN AT THE PARTY!  My little monkey!
Simply create a pattern for your beanbags.  I simply folded a regular sheet of paper in half and in half again to create a square that was the perfect size.  Cut two of each of your fabrics and sew wrong sides together (leaving one side open).

Fill with beans or rice (I purchased rice which was a better bang for the buck).  Pin and sew the final side together.

I created four beanbags.

You will then need a spooky plate or item to toss the beanbags at.  I had a charger plate and simply using electrical tape (which I already had) I created a pumpkin.

Total cost for the project…under $2.50 (because I had all the supplies with the exception of the rice) and the kids loved it!


October 29, 2011

HALLOWEEN MINI: K/E cat costume

Posted by Ethne~
I have the best of intentions every year.  I think: 'I'll make the girls awesome costumes and we'll do a theme!!'  Then somehow that doesn't happen.
Fortunately, my girls are super cute (Lori can back me up on this!), so they don't need a total make-over to have a fun Halloween costume. 
Their first year they weren't even a month old and so they wore a Halloween outfit from our bff Grizz's mom Claire F.  Adorable!
Their second Halloween they wore fairy costumes, but they were practical ones since we Trick or Treated at all our families' homes around metro Big City.
Third Halloween they were insects.  I was in love with those fluffy costumes.
Last year KD was Snow White and Easy Mac was Cinderella.  I went all out including mascara on their eyelashes.  Unfortunately, it was super cold so they were all bundled up with tank tops and leg warmers and ear muffs.

So cute, my princesses!
One issue I've got is that I have to buy two of everything which = $$$.  Also, this year the girls couldn't wear super scary costumes for their pre-school parade, so I decided they would be CATS!  And this was a bargain:
Black shirts + black pants at Target = under $10 (and re-wearable)
Halloween socks = $1 (JoAnn's one buck section)
Sequin cat ear snap-clips - $1.99 (60% clearance at JoAnn)
Black petticoat = $4.97 (Walmart regular price)
TOTAL = $17.96
This isn't the exact one from JoAnn, but similar -
hair barrettes instead!

I am going to make a tail out of my stash (free) and I consider the shirt and pants free too since they are wearable all winter.  Factoring those out, the costume is $7.96 per girl.  Not bad!
Whiskers and black nose are from my large make-up stash so FREE thanks to Whit!
I'll post some pictures for Lor's and my Halloween Spooktacular next week.
Be safe and have fun Friends!

October 28, 2011


Posted by Lori~
Recently I was interviewed by my little city, ND newspaper about thrifty Halloween costumes.  And this interview…stirred up lots of memories from the past.  In particular Halloween faves.
And by far I have a favorite costume…it took me NO time to rank it at that top.  And the best part was it was super affordable and home-made.
During graduate school, my girlfriends and I decided to go as a six-pack (not that sexy man part), but as a six pack of MILLER LITE!  We actually got “aka stole” the idea from my sis Lisa.  We stole it, we copied it, and we were A-DOR-ABLE!
Just today I was talking with another "beer can" and she told me
that this was also her FAVORITE costume ever!
And the best part…we won the costume contest!  And even better…there was of course a ton of rioting!  And even better….the darn karaoke machine (pre-party at his house) got my boyfriend (now husband) almost evicted!  HILLARIOUS!

This costume was even re-used and borrowed by others for another party!
And this party included Ethne and her sis Whit!

Ethne was working Brittany Spears and Shaun--not sure?
Needless to say...they were in LOVE and married a few years later!
This costume is super easy to make…all it required was a white sheet, cardboard, glue and paint.  We simply sketched out the beer can design on the sheet and painted.  We also spray painted the top of the can silver.  We then glued the sheet to the cardboard and cut wholes for arms.

I had to throw this photo in that features my Steve in the background!
And my college roommate Sam--the naughty nurse!
In addition, we also turned a head-band into a pop (beer) top using aluminum foil and wire!


Posted by Lori~
It’s starting…that’s right.  Halloween is soon upon us and this means…Halloween parties and costume ideas like crazy!
First up a shout-out to WOM-MOM follower and friend Katie!  WOM-MOM made the news.  We made the newspaper in my little city, ND town.  You can read all about thrifty Halloween costume ideas here.
Also…here’s a look at FABULOUS inspiration from WOM-MOM follower and friend Katrina. 

Super H as Bobba Fett

Her son SUPER H dressed as Bobba Fett from Star Wars.  This costume was made entirely out of felt and glue!  With the exception of the helmet that was purchased for ½ price on clearance!  WOW—KATRINA!   GREAT JOB!

October 27, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

It is really fun to have the house decorated for Halloween.  On the news yesterday that "Halloween is the new Christmas."  How about National Lampoon's Halloween Disaster?  They could decorate the house in 'metallic pea'.

Anyway, I have a few decorations that I put up (didn't the last couple of years when the girls were smaller) and I always laugh when I open up the Halloween decorations orange and black tub one: because it reminds me of my WHS days where orange and black are our school colors and two: because I have my old costumes in there such as when I was Britney Spears and a Not-Quite-Holy-Angel.  Good times.

Some of my decorations I made, such as these table runners.  It was a pattern that just about anyone could do if you can sew straight lines and cut even angles.  If you Google search "how to sew a binding" I think you'll find instructions on how to do it even better than mine.

The kid decorations I talked about earlier this week.  You can put those up about anywhere.

The wood pumpkins were made by my Thrifty Nana's students in wood shop; the spider web candle holder is a gift from Whit (Partylite); and the remainder were finds by Thrifty Nana at after-Halloween sales in years past.

After-Halloween sales are where you can find EXTREME DISCOUNTS my Friends.  Stores need to get rid of Halloween decorations STAT so they cut the prices right after Halloween.  I mean they SLASH THEM.  They gotta get Christmas decorations out immediately, so they can't have the orange and black spooky stuff hanging around and in the way.  JoAnn has had their Halloween stuff on sale for 60% off for a week now, at least.

More on the girls' costumes - good discounts - later this week or early next week.  They have their Halloween parade at pre-school today.  So cute when they left this morning, meowing all the way.  :)

October 25, 2011


Posted by Lori~
I wanted to add a little Halloween to my attire and I feel like a little can go a long.  While cruisin’ Pinterest and some of my other favorite blogs, I have seen some great ideas using googly eyes and a hot glue gun!  SCORE!  TOTALLY THRIFTY AND EASY…MY KIND OF PROJECT.

Click here for details

I hit the local good will and tracked down a pair of earrings and a necklace for under $2.00.  I hit Wal-Mart and purchased the eyes in my craft section for $1.54.  And…I already had plenty of hot glue.

This craft was simple…simply glue them on in any way you like.  I found less was more on my necklace turned into bracelet.  But other ideas work too.  Go to town WOMS!

October 24, 2011

MINI: Squash Mac N' Cheese

Posted by Ethne~

Hey, wanna know what's awesome?  Completely coincidentally I made squash mac n' cheese too!

The girls are big fans of Kraft mac n' cheese, but I'm always looking for ways to add some nutrition.  So, I didn't got to quite the extent Lor did with her AWESOME recipe for pumpkin mac n' cheese from yesterday BUT, I snuck some in anyway.

I had some cooked squash on hand, pureed it up really smoothly, and stirred about 1/2 cup into regular Kraft mac n' cheese.  It was excellent.  The girls thanked me for cooking such a good dinner.  Super sweet.

See, Friends, squash is about as versatile as cheese.  Together, you can't mess it up!

FIVE DAYS OF HALLOWEEN: Halloween Crafts for Kids!

Posted by Ethne~

In preparation for Halloween Fest on WOM-MOM, and also to keep the kiddos busy over the weekend, we did some kid crafts, spooky style.

Little Paper Guys:  I had a whole lot of construction paper, so I figured a few activities with colorful papyrus would be a winner.  I asked the girls what sort of Halloween character they’d like; Easy Mac picked a candy corn and KD picked a pumpkin.  I cut little ½” squares of construction paper and put them, color coded, into small dishes.

I drew the general pumpkin and candy corn shapes onto a 8-1/2 x 11” piece of construction paper.  Using a glue stick, I glue-spackled portions of each shape, then instructed the girls to cover that shape with the coordinating paper. 

When the girls determined that they were satisfied with the colored-paper coverage, I gave them each eyes, noses and mouths to adhere.  And for the pumpkin, KD got leaves and a stem too.  Easy Mac didn’t want a nose on her candy corn.  I had the girls sign their artwork.  I’m always looking for places to memorialize how advanced their signatures are.

Felt Critters:  I did free-hand cut-outs of cats and pumpkins, along with decorative features such as mouths and eyes.  I put Elmer’s School Glue dabs on the pieces and let the girls decorate the faces as they liked.  KD didn’t like the mouth I made for hers: she said she didn’t want a “lady mouth” on hers.

Easy Mac's guys
KD's critters

Pumpkin Cut-outs:  Shaun cut pumpkins out of orange construction paper, then cut a brown stem and green leaf for each.  He taped the pieces together and gave one each to the girls with a black crayon.  Instruction – draw a face.  Easy Mac’s was cute because the eyes had pupils in them; KD’s was funny – eyes, ears and mouth were circles, then a line over the mouth for a moustache.  So fun.

3-D Felt Pumpkins:  I thought I’d make felt pumpkins to decorate the house with, what with the felt food kick I’m on and this cute little example I pinned to our Pinterest page.  I made one each for the girls but it turned out not to be very fun.  It’s completely unrealistic yet to keep the girls’ attention if a needle and thread are required.

Great Pre-school Idea:  The girls came home Thursday with an orange pumpkin from pre-school.  They were proud to tell me that they mixed red paint and yellow paint to make orange paint and then they mixed the orange paint with white shaving cream and painted the orange cream onto their pumpkin-shaped paper with their hands.  I thought it was a great idea.

So that’s our Halloween-filled weekend.  We bought pumpkins and decorated the house, but I’ll tell you about that later.